July 23, 2019
Kochi: Why are Tamil migrant workers reluctant to settle down in Kerala is an interesting point that calls for deliberations.
There has been a large number of migrants from different parts of Tamil Nadu working in Kerala for decades.
But only a few have preferred to settle down here for many factors with the main one being tremendous freebies offered by Tamil Nadu Government to the poor compared to the one in Kerala.
The only advantage of living here is sustained employment with high wages.
These migrants stay away from their villages for a short time when they are working in Kerala.
This practice has been on for over decades since when they have set up colonies in land belonging to the government.
Now these settlements have become permanent camps and the local politicians do everything possible to keep them happy to get their votes.
One such colony is in Vaathuruthy in the heart of Kochi city. The colony has all the facilities including water-round-the-clock, electricity and free education among others.
A few of the residents operate small hotels where delicacies from breakfast, lunch, tea time snacks and dinner with typical Tamil touch are available.
Many of them have their families in their native places with children studying there. They have large land holdings which are taken care of by their parents or other close relatives. Such people leave for home by the weekend and return only after finishing all pending work.
Some say they go home to hand over their earnings to their wives and parents as they are scared to transfer money through banks or other such modes.
There are private buses operating services from Vaathuruthy to different villages in Tamil Nadu.
The Cochin Corporation councillor of Willingdon Island under which the area comes told The Covai Post that the workers were not keen to migrate to Kerala and take part in the elections. The area is Cochin Corporation ‘pattaya land’ where they have been living for years.
Most of the houses owned by them are rented out to their own friends and relatives.